Once you have made the decision that the time is right for you to get a puppy there is nothing more exciting than starting your search. Choosing a puppy is something that should not be taken lightly or done on a whim as they are a long-term commitment.
Read on to find out the basics for choosing a puppy that is right for you.
Before you set on your search for the perfect puppy you should research the various breeds that you are interested in. Each dog breed has a distinctive set of characteristics including energy level, personality, health concerns and more that should be considered. If you are interested in a mixed breed it is still beneficial to be aware of the traits of the breeds so that you can be prepared. It is also a good idea to read about what to you can expect owning a puppy including reoccurring expenses like food, training classes, and vet bills.
Important Questions to Ask Yourself
Before going out and seeing puppies there are a few questions that you should ask yourself. Make sure to answer honestly so that you can be fully prepared to welcome a new family member.
- What is your energy level?
- If you are an active person a higher energy dog may be a good fit, but if you are a couch potato make sure to find a dog breed that also loves to curl up.
- Do you have kids?
- If you have kids you will want to make sure that a puppy will be a good fit. If your kids are really young it might not be the right time to get a puppy, but if they are older it can be a great way to teach responsibility.
- Are there other pets in the home?
- If you have other dogs or cats in the house you will want to make sure that they will get along with a puppy.
- How much space do you have?
- Although a puppy may take up a little bit of space initially they grow- and fast. Not only that they require a lot of stuff including a dog crate, dog bed, toys, food dishes, leashes and more so make sure that you have enough room for everything.
- What is your budget?
- The cost of owning a puppy may start out minimal, but can quickly add up over time. Make sure that you have enough money to effectively budget for puppy expenses including food, toys, beds, vet bills, training, medications and more.
- What is your schedule like?
- If you have a very routine schedule where you are home around the same time every day, looking after your puppy is much easier. Fostering a schedule that doesn’t leave your puppy alone too long and includes time for daily walks can help you to positively bond with your dog.
- Do you have help?
- Having a person you can call to let your puppy out, feed them or take them for a walk can really help out when you are unable to get home in time.
Where to Find a Puppy
There are many different places to find a puppy, but doing your homework before you go out looking can help you to find the right puppy for you.
- Choose a local shelter so that you can visit a few times before adopting.
- Spend your time getting to know the puppy. Don’t choose a puppy based on how it cute it is.
- Pay close attention to the dog’s energy and body language.
- Ask the staff about the dogs you are interested in and if they sound like a good match, take them for a walk.
- Once you have decided upon a puppy ask about its health, behavior, reason for being at the shelter and any other questions you may have.
- Get referrals from the American Kennel Club, local breeder associations and veterinarians
- Ask about the dog’s ancestry.
- Ask for contact information of other people who have adopted from the breeder.
- Check out the puppy’s living conditions.
- Look at the puppy’s temperament, behavior and energy level.
- Obtain the proper papers including vet check-ups and vaccination history.
Places to avoid
Avoid online platforms and pet shops for buying a puppy because these puppies often come from puppy mills exposing the puppies to health issues and deplorable conditions.